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303-764-1400 Applying for a Public Defender

Interns, Externs & Volunteers

Throughout the year, and especially during the summer, the Colorado Public Defender offers a unique opportunity for students and volunteers to experience the work of indigent criminal defense. We offer opportunities to prelaw, current law students, paralegal students, undergraduates, and social work candidates.

The Colorado Public Defender is a state-wide system serving 64 counties with 21 regional offices, an appellate office, and a state administrative office.

2L and 3L Internship Positions

The Office of the Colorado State Public Defender offers both paid and unpaid internships to law students after their second and third years of law school. During these positions, law students have the opportunity to work under the supervision of a licensed public defender, performing a variety of tasks, including:

  • Preparing cases outside of court
  • Conducting pre-trial and post-trial hearings
  • Trying cases to juries
  • Drafting Appellate Briefs
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1L Student Internship Positions

We offer a variety of internships for first year law students. During this position, interns will research and write memos, briefs and legal pleadings. They’ll also observe in court and provide a variety of support services to trial teams, including conducting investigations and interacting with clients during jail and office visits. These opportunities are available after completing two semesters of law school.

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Investigator Internships

Our investigative internships allow students to become more familiar with the criminal legal process while helping our team of defenders and our clients. These internships are a great way to build the experience necessary to secure a future job with our agency as a criminal investigator.

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Forensic Social Work Internships

We offer social work internships for students interested in learning about the criminal legal system. These positions provide an excellent opportunity to apply principles learned in their social work studies in support of public defender clients.

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Paralegal Internships

Many of our offices offer internships to paralegal students, providing them with the opportunity to work on complex cases in support of our public defender team. Some paralegal internships offer direct interaction with and support to clients, while others provide experience in areas such as courtroom support or legal research and writing.

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